Spiced Coffee and Mountain Road Trip Adventure

Walsh Cooks went on tour last weekend. The mission? To visit my friend and her husband in Golden BC. Decided to make it a round trip and went via Cochrane and Banff, spent two days in Golden, and came home via Jasper. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a motor-tour on my own. I’ve had Michael has my navigator for 24 years, so it was a bit unnerving and yet exciting down to my toes to do this trip on my own.

My dear childhood friend and her husband have travelled far and wide in this world of ours, and with that they have had opportunity to try food things I can only dream and imagine (unless of course I relent and go on a trip to Turkey with them next October, which surprisingly might conflict with my idea of going to New Zealand for the rugby World Cup – imagine! I’ve travelled absolutely nowhere off our continent in the last decade, and suddenly, have the bug to go to two different corners of it).

My friends, Colette and Bruce, live in a rustic but civilized log house, high on a hill in Golden BC. This house has nooks. It has crannies. It has ladders to lofts, stairs to a screened patio, a fireplace with a built in climbing wall, a cat who ignored me, and transient honey bees. Observe:

Colette has been on my case for years (quite possibly 20 or more) to visit her. Finally, the opportunity came up, and happened to be the same time she was having a belly-dance show. What an event! Colette is the founder of the Golden Navel Academy (get it? get it?), and she and her students put on a most entertaining evening. Here’s a pic of Colette doing her stuff:

Those are the wings of Isis should you be wondering. The costumes were simply amazing, and as Colette says, if you have tendencies towards being magpie, meaning you are attracted to things that sparkle and glitter, then belly-dance is for you.

From the highly feminine, we contrast the visit with a hardy and true Mountain Man. Here’s Bruce:

Not only did he introduce me to Corazon tequila on ice, but he also took me up Mount 7 in a 4 x 4 truck. I’ve never been on a road that’s meant for crazed mountain bikers, paragliders and logging trucks, nor I have ever been so freaking scared out of my wits. We saw a bear, and with all the confidence in the world, Bruce pulled over on this rough mountain road to “have a better look”. Of course he is more than competent and able, but I’m a city slicker and not used to clinging to the side of mountains with two wheels hanging over a cliff. Outwardly, I tried to portray a sense of blase indifference to my impending death, but I can tell you my insides have never been so cinched up in my entire life (but my insides weren’t so messed up that I couldn’t enjoy an enchilada for brunch shortly after!).

The point of this entry, however, is to share with you fellow Foodies, an exotic coffee that I was introduced to. I don’t recall it having a proper name, but you could call it Spiced Coffee. Here’s what you do. Listen up. You’ll want to try this when you want something-something after dinner:

First, you find yourself some excellent coffee beans. Don’t you dare even think about using flavoured beans.  Then, put some in your coffee grinder, along with:

5 peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
7 cardamon pods

This particular ratio would work for 6 – 8 cups of coffee. Sweeten to taste.

I tried this today at home, and since I make coffee by the single cup using a Melitta cone filter, I used the following ratio: Handful of beans, 2 peppercorns, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ginger and 2 cardamon pods. It worked very well. This time around I also added a bit of cream as well as sugar, and it was delicious. As Colette said, its something similar to a coffee version of chai tea. 

The last leg of my journey was up highway 93, and I made many pit stops along the way to Jasper (probably on account of the increased coffee consumption having fallen in love with coffee from Golden’s local bean roaster, The Bean Bag), but one stop is worth sharing. I pulled in to have a peek at Peyto Lake. I knew I was in for something good as each of the (many) tourists in front of me, as they approached the lookout, would each exclaim an oooh or an ahhhh as they caught sight of this:

Lovely, isn’t it?

The last night of my road trip was spent at the Jasper Park Lodge. I’m addicted to the scenery at that place, which is why I keep going back, but I got to tell you, I’m always less than impressed with the quality of room-for-money-spent ratio. This last visit, I had housekeeping on notice as I was not thrilled with the dangling dust bunnies from the ceiling. Alas, one glance at Lac Beauvert has me turn to mush, and listening to loons call as the sun sets, with a glass of wine in hand, is one of my life’s finest pleasures.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Jared says:

    Fantastic post Cathy! Now I want to travel as well! 🙂

  2. Makes you want to travel more often, doesn't it?

  3. Carol says:

    I love travel stories! It makes me yearn for the mountains. I'm going to try the spiced coffee tomorrow morning. It sounds wonderful.

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